Mark Logan Portrait

Mark Logan

Conservative - Bolton North East

First elected: 12th December 2019


Victims and Prisoners Bill
14th Jun 2023 - 11th Jul 2023
Child Support (Enforcement) Bill
22nd Feb 2023 - 1st Mar 2023
Science and Technology Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 17th May 2022
Science, Innovation and Technology Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 17th May 2022
Building Safety Bill
9th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 279 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 226 Noes - 287
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
I agree 100% with the right hon. Member. Members on my side of the House have talked about the motion …
Written Answers
Wednesday 31st January 2024
UK Trade with EU: Import Duties
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if her Department will open negotiations with the European Union …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: FREENOW (Trading as TRANSOPCO UK Ltd)
Address of donor: 47-51 Great Suffolk St, London SE1 0BS
Amount …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 9th March 2022
Pets (Microchips) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision regarding pets with microchips; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Mark Logan has voted in 804 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Mark Logan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Mark Logan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Mark Logan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
View All Mark Logan Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(11 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(8 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Independent)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Mark Logan's debates

Bolton North East Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with legislation that focuses on early intervention to prevent dog bites and tackle dog-related issues regardless of breed or type, based solely on their behaviour.


I believe that the XL bully is a kind, beautiful natured breed that loves children and people in general, and are very loyal and loving pets.


Latest EDMs signed by Mark Logan

Mark Logan has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Logan, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Mark Logan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Mark Logan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Mark Logan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


99 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help tackle violence against women and girls.

Equality Ministers work closely with colleagues across Government to tackle violence against women and girls.

The Minister for Women sits on the Ministerial Steering Group overseeing the delivery of the Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy and the Domestic Abuse Action Plan. This group met most recently on 18 October 2023 to assess progress, which includes;

  • Adding the issue of violence against women and girls to the revised Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR), meaning it is now set out as a national threat for forces to respond to alongside other threats such as terrorism, serious and organised crime, and child sexual abuse;

  • Investing £168 million through the Safer Streets and Safety of Women at Night funds to make our streets safer;

  • Launching a fund for VAWG ‘by and for’ services over two years to a total of up to £6 million, from 2023/24 – 2024/25. The fund is for services across England and Wales, supporting LGBT people, people with a disability, or ethnic minorities affected by VAWG;

  • Launching the ‘Enough’ behaviour change campaign in March 2022, which has reached millions of individuals across England and Wales.

As part of that cross government work the Equality Hub is supporting the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill. Parliament agreed the final version of the Bill on Friday 20 October and it will now receive Royal Assent, strengthing protections for employees against workplace sexual harassment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service is adequately resourced to prosecute hate crime against members of religious minority communities (a) on social media and (b) in community settings.

The Government is committed to delivering justice for victims of hate crimes committed in our communities and online, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) considers all cases referred by the police.

Considering the events unfolding in the Middle East, a package of measures has been put in place to provide ongoing support to the police. This includes updating existing guidance on protests and offering the use of prosecutors in command centres to advise in real time.

In the rolling year to March 2023, the CPS has prosecuted 380 religiously aggravated and 9,1234 racially aggravated hate crime offences, with a charge rate of 85% and 87% respectively. These include aggravated malicious communication offences.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what recent steps she has taken to support the prosecution of alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin has opened more than 100,000 files into alleged crimes which he intends to take through the Ukrainian courts.

I remain in regular contact with Prosecutor General Kostin. Alongside UK legal experts from inside and outside government, I am supporting the work of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the International Criminal Court to ensure allegations of war crimes are fully and fairly investigated, by independent, effective and robust legal mechanisms.

The UK is also a founding member of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, alongside the US and the EU, which works in the region with Ukraine to coordinate and provide additional support to Ukraine’s domestic prosecutions. We have also ensured to provide training and advisory support to Ukrainian judges and prosecutors across the region.

The UK is committed to ensuring that those responsible for atrocities are held to account for their actions.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if her Department will open negotiations with the European Union on a no tariff charge for goods and imports.

The UK has a comprehensive zero-tariff, zero-quota Free Trade Agreement with the European Union that eliminates tariffs on UK imports from and exports to the European Union, subject to goods meeting the relevant rules of origin.

This Government is committed to the ensuring the smooth running of the agreement to the benefit of UK business and consumers, such as via the annual framework of Trade Specialised Committees. For example, on 21st December 2023 HMG announced an agreement with the EU to extend trade rules on electric vehicles saving manufacturers and consumers up to £4.3 billion in additional tariffs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent progress her Department has made on connecting innovation ecosystems under the Japan-UK Strategic Economic Policy and Trade Dialogue; and if she will make a statement.

Supported by the Strategic Economic Policy and Trade Dialogue, there is significant work underway across a number of departments and agencies in the UK and Japan to connect our respective innovation ecosystems. This includes organising pitch events, business matching sessions, information exchanges and supporting delegations of innovative start-ups to visit our respective markets. We are also working with external partners. In June, my department announced a new contract awarded to Oxfordshire-based Intralink to run the new UK-Asia Pacific Tech Growth Programme as part of the UK’s Digital Trade Network (DTN). This will help UK tech companies and entrepreneurs to trade across Asia Pacific, with Japan a key market.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent steps her Department has taken to support trade with Japan.

Japan is one of the UK's closest trade and strategic partners. In 2021, we concluded the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the first major trade deal that the UK struck as an independent trading nation. We continue to work closely with businesses so they can fully utilise the benefits of this agreement.

We agreed The Hiroshima Accord in May 2023 with Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Kishida, setting the direction of our partnership for the next decade and beyond. During the PM's visit to Japan, leading Japanese businesses committed to invest almost £18 billion into the UK.

This summer, the UK also completed accession negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP), which will strengthen our trading relationship with Japan.

In September 2023, the Secretary of State held the first UK-Japan Economic, Business and Trade Dialogue in which UK Export Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, which will support UK and Japanese exporters, including Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's).

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what progress her Department has made on developing economic relations with the Indo-Pacific region.

We are putting the UK at the centre of a network of modern relationships in the Indo-Pacific, including through the negotiation and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (such as the UK’s recent accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership). In addition to joining CPTPP, we are breaking down market access barriers for UK businesses which will help to increase exports from UK companies into the Indo-Pacific, and encouraging investment from the Indo-Pacific into the UK that will boost science and technology, clean energy and levelling up objectives. We also introduced the Developing Countries Trading Scheme to provide lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for exporting to the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what assessment she has made of the impact of international trade on Bolton North East constituency.

The Department for Business and Trade doesn’t assess the impact international trade on individual member constituencies. Nationwide export support services are in place which can be adapted to meet local needs.

Across all constituencies, we support businesses to gain the confidence and expertise to export. The Export Support Service helps businesses to navigate all export services offered by the Department to open opportunities to succeed through global trade. The Export Academy is a major initiative to build market knowledge and export capability to boost businesses’ global trading capability, supporting the millions of jobs that rely on exporting. In addition, the International Trade Advisory service gives businesses one to one support to take advantage of new global opportunities.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a scheme to facilitate the installation of heat pumps in suitable homes with the cost structured as a long-term property linked loan as a means to promote the adoption of clean energy technologies.

Catalysing a market for green finance, which can help meet the costs of retrofit, is a Departmental priority. The Green Home Finance Accelerator is making £20m available to support the testing of innovative solutions. Twenty-six projects were awarded grants for initial development work. One, led by Leeds City Council, explored options for property linked finance. Twenty-three of these projects, including Leeds, recently applied to progress to pilot. Successful applicants will be announced shortly. Assessments of potential will be made once the pilots conclude.

Additionally, the Government has raised grants under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to £7,500 to support households to replace fossil fuel boilers with low-carbon air-source heat pumps.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the environmental horticulture, landscaping and arboriculture sector on net zero targets.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out the UK's ambition to reduce emissions from Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs sectors as part of an overall reduction across the economy of 77% by Carbon Budget 6. Nature-based solutions, like restoring peat and planting trees, are key to tackling climate change and averting its impacts. They deliver multiple benefits for climate, biodiversity and people, and can therefore play an important role in reaching net zero.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps she is taking to increase domestic oil and gas production.

The Government supports new licensing rounds in the North Sea to slow the decline in production from what is a mature basin while supporting industry to reduce production emissions. As reaffirmed in the Powering Up Britain Energy Security Plan, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) launched the 33rd oil and gas exploration licensing round in October last year and is expected to award the first licences from this round later this year. The Government and the NSTA have announced a joint commitment to undertake future licensing rounds, subject to a climate compatibility test.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help ensure that theatres (a) outside London and (b) in Bolton North East constituency receive equitable funding from Arts Council England.

His Majesty’s Government is deeply committed to supporting theatres across the whole country, including through public funding to organisations made via Arts Council England.

The arts are for everyone, and the Government has made it a priority to ensure that funding for the arts is fairly distributed across the country. Through Arts Council England’s 2023–26 National Portfolio, increased funding of £444.6 million per annum will fund a record 985 organisations in more parts of the country than ever before. This is an increase from £410 million per annum and 828 organisations under the previous portfolio. Of the 275 new organisations joining the funding portfolio, 214 are outside London.

Overall investment in theatre has also increased through this round of the Arts Council’s investment programme – both in terms of the number of organisations supported, and the volume of funding, which is now more than £110 million per annum, encompassing 194 organisations. The Octagon Theatre in Bolton receives annual funding of £625,359. In the last three years, theatres and theatre-focused projects in the Bolton North East constituency have received over £2.5 million of funding via Arts Council England.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to help prevent protestors from disrupting sporting events.

We must protect the right to peaceful protest, but that does not give licence to a vocal minority to spoil events that millions of us enjoy.

The Home Secretary and the Culture Secretary have chaired productive discussions, with sports, police and government united against preventing further disruption of this kind. The Government has taken action to support the police in their efforts to prevent disruption at major sporting events, including giving them more powers through the Public Order Act 2023. This criminalised actions like ‘locking on’, allowing police to stop and search protesters for items like padlocks and superglue if they suspect they are setting out to cause disruption. We will continue to support sports organisations in their planning as necessary.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will take steps to ensure Channel 4’s current regional distribution of offices and headcount across Greater Manchester is maintained and that a potential expansion to Bolton is supported, in the event that Channel 4 is privatised.

Channel 4’s strengths in the regions and nations are to be celebrated and maintained into its future, and that is not at odds with private investment - Channel 4’s access to networks out of London is likely to be an attractive asset to nurture and develop for any potential buyer.

We have consulted on the best ownership model to support Channel 4 for years to come. Our public consultation ran for 10 weeks before closing on 14 September. We are carefully considering the views and evidence we have received to inform the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress her Department has made on removing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete from the school estate.

Our priority will always be to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, which is why we have taken a precautionary approach and asked schools to vacate spaces known to contain RAAC until mitigations are put in place.

To give a sense of the scale, there are around 22,000 schools and colleges in England, of which around 15,000 have at least one block constructed during the period in which RAAC may have been used. Due to the action we have taken to issue questionnaires, we now have responses from all schools and colleges with buildings from the era when RAAC was commonly used. All schools and colleges that advised us they suspected they may have RAAC have had a first survey to confirm if it is present.

The vast majority of schools and colleges surveyed to date have been found to have no RAAC. Where it is present, it may be limited to a single classroom. So far, these surveys have confirmed a very small proportion of schools and colleges – 231, or around 1% – have RAAC present.

In December 2023, we published an updated list of affected schools and colleges. Thanks to the hard work of school and college leaders the vast majority – 228, or 99% - were delivering full time face-to-face education for all pupils. At the time of publication, 3 schools had hybrid arrangements in place, all 3 are now in full-time face-to-face education for all pupils.

Each school and college has a dedicated caseworker to help implement individual mitigation plans and we have dedicated contracts to enable delivery of alternative accommodation including temporary classrooms, and structural supports where appropriate.

We will spend what it takes to resolve this problem as quickly as possible. All reasonable requests for additional help with revenue costs are being approved and we are funding further longer-term refurbishment or rebuilding projects to address the presence of RAAC in schools. Schools and colleagues will either be offered capital grants, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, including through School Rebuilding Programme.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils has been the focus of our education reforms since 2010. The attainment gap narrowed by 9% at secondary school level and by 13% at primary school level between 2011 and 2019.

For over a decade, the Department has consistently taken a range of steps to give priority support and deliver programmes that help disadvantaged pupils, including improving the quality of teaching and curriculum resources, strengthening the school system, and providing targeted support where needed. The Department knows that disadvantaged children have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, which has widened the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils. The Department will continue to work to reduce this gap, as it previously has.

At a national level, the Department delivers several core policies to support disadvantaged pupils. This includes free school meals, which support around 2 million children, as well as the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), which is receiving £200 million in funding a year for the next two years, The Department also supports 2,700 breakfast clubs and family hubs.

The National Funding Formula (NFF) continues to distribute funding fairly based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. In 2023/24, the Department has targeted a greater proportion of schools NFF funding towards deprived pupils than ever before. Over £4 billion (9.8%) of the formula has been allocated according to deprivation, while over £7 billion (17.4%), has been allocated to additional needs overall. As a result, schools with the highest levels of deprivation, on average, attract the largest per pupil funding increases. On top of this core funding, Pupil Premium funding rates have increased by 5% in the 2023/24 financial year to a total of almost £2.9 billion. This increase in funding is on top of £1 billion of recovery premium funding in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years, which was allocated to deliver evidence based approaches to support educational recovery for disadvantaged pupils, and over £300 million delivered in 2021/22.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) funds schools based on rates of disadvantage. Since the launch of the NTP in November 2020, more than £1 billion has been made available to support tutoring. From November 2020 to the 2023/24 academic year, nearly 4 million tutoring courses have been started (up to July 2023).

At a regional level, the Department has identified 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs) with the lowest attainment outcomes. In these areas, the Department is providing £86 million for Trust Capacity funding, up to £150 million for Connect the Classroom, and extra funding for Levelling Up Premium retention payments to support schools with two or more Requires Improvement inspection reports.

24 EIAs have been identified as Priority EIAs. These areas face low attainment at Key Stage 2 and high levels of disadvantage. They therefore receive additional funding, including £42 million of Local Needs Funding, £86 million for Connect the Classroom and over £2 million for attendance mentoring pilots.

19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to increase the proportion of male primary school teachers.

The Department wants to ensure that teaching is an attractive career choice for people from all backgrounds. This includes men looking to work in primary schools.

Alongside monitoring overall numbers of male teachers in the profession, our in-house teacher recruitment services, such as the Apply for Teaching Training service, generate real time data and insights into recruitment of male primary initial teacher training (ITT) candidates, along with the recruitment practices of schools and universities that offer ITT.

Whilst men make up a smaller proportion of the teaching workforce than women, since 2010 there has been an increase of over 6,500 male teachers in state funded nursery and primary schools, rising from 28,180 in 2010/11 to 34,818 in 2022/23. ​

​​Recruitment campaigns are targeted at audiences of students, recent graduates, and potential career changers, regardless of gender. The Department takes every effort to ensure that our advertising is fully reflective of this across the full range of marketing materials used. The Department is also working with our Teacher Vacancy Service to ensure online case studies encourage more male primary teachers into the profession, through sharing positive and encouraging stories from teachers.

The Department wants teaching to be an attractive and competitive profession. From September 2023, starting salaries will raise to at least £30,000 in all areas of the country. In fulfilling this manifesto commitment, the Department is ensuring that all teachers launch their career on a competitive starting salary.

6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to reduce absence rates of pupils in secondary schools.

This Government understands how important school attendance is for pupils’ education, wellbeing, and life chances. The Department’s approach to tackling attendance is a support-first strategy.

​The Department published stronger expectations of schools, trusts, governing bodies and Local Authorities in the ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ guidance. Schools are now expected to publish an attendance policy, appoint an attendance champion, and use data to identify and then support pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent. The Department deployed 10 expert attendance advisers to work with 155 Local Authorities and trusts to review practices, develop plans to improve and meet expectations set out in the guidance. To help identify children at risk of persistent absence and to enable early intervention, the Department established a timelier flow of pupil level attendance data through the daily attendance data collection. The ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance.

​The launch of the £2.32 million attendance mentor pilot aims to deliver intensive one-to-one support to a group of persistently and severely absent pupils from year 6 through to year 11. The findings from this pilot should enable schools, trusts, and Local Authorities to address persistent and severe absence more effectively. The Department recently launched new attendance hubs with ten lead schools sharing their effective practice on attendance with up to 600 partner schools, reaching hundreds of thousands of pupils. This is alongside intensive support to children in need through Virtual Schools Heads.

​The Secretary of State and I co-chair the ‘Attendance Action Alliance’ of national system leaders to work to remove barriers to attendance and reduce absence through pledges. This is in addition to the £5 billion that has been made available for education recovery, helping pupils to recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes up to £1.5 billion on tutoring and nearly £2 billion of direct funding to schools so they can deliver evidence-based interventions based on pupil needs.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether Ukrainian diplomas and other education credentials are recognised (a) in the UK and (b) by UK employers.

The UK and Ukraine are both signatories to the Lisbon Recognition Convention. The UK is also a signatory to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Global Recognition Convention, which will soon come into force. The terms of these Conventions oblige the UK to recognise higher education qualifications and qualifications giving access to higher education unless they are substantially different from the UK equivalents.

The UK European Network for Information (ENIC) service provides advice on the comparability of international qualifications at all levels of education with those of the UK, on behalf of Government. The service maintains an extensive database of international qualifications and education systems, including for Ukraine, and are fully prepared to deal with Ukrainian and other refugees’ qualifications.

Organisations and individuals can apply for Statements of Comparability through the standard UK ENIC portal. Within the portal, there is provision for individuals to be able to identify as refugees, meaning more flexibility is given for document submissions. Many organisations, including education institutions and employers, also subscribe to the UK ENIC service and use its database when assessing applications.


Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the number of air traffic controllers.

The recruitment of air traffic controllers is a commercial matter for the private businesses that operate air traffic control services.

However, the Department is working with industry and other Government Departments, as part of the Generation Aviation programme, to support medium and long term recruitment.

This work includes the promotion of air traffic controller careers, and co-operation with industry and the Department for Education to review current apprenticeship standards so as to encourage greater uptake.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had recent discussions with his Japanese counterpart on increasing cooperation between the UK and Japanese (a) railway, (b) automotive and (c) other transport sectors.

The Honourable Member will note that the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Mark Harper has had a number of discussions this year on increasing co-operation with our international partners on a range of transport related matters. In June this year, he travelled to Japan to attend the G7 Transport Ministers Meeting alongside the transport ministers or representative of the Minister for each of the G7 countries. Whilst there, he took the opportunity to meet with the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to discuss the challenges that both transport sector in both Japan and the UK. He also met representatives of Japanese companies investing in the UK to discuss the challenges that face the UK transport sector as we plan to improve transport for users, meet our environmental targets and support the PM’s priorities including to grow the economy. Those meetings with a range of transport companies across the rail, automotive, and maritime sectors also discussed closer trading links and cooperation. Officials at the Department for Transport continue to work closely with Japanese officials in order to share knowledge on key transport issues and increase co-operation between the two countries.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to increase the number of public electric vehicle charge points in Bolton.

The Government is supporting local authorities in England through its £381 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has been allocated £16,158,000 of capital funding and £1,440,000 of capability funding through the LEVI Fund, to transform the availability of charging infrastructure across the area, including Bolton.

Since 2017, local authorities across the UK have also been able to apply to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS). Over 190 local authorities have been awarded grants through ORCS, which will see more than 18,000 chargepoints installed. To date, GMCA and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council have not applied for ORCS funding.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the number of public transport services operating between Greater Manchester and Bolton.

Regarding train services, this was reviewed as part of the work of the Manchester Taskforce, which concluded that increasing the train lengths to meet capacity was the priority, rather than adding more services, as this would provide an improvement in operational performance. This was implemented as part of the timetable change in December 2022. The successful implementation of this timetable, which has significantly reduced delays within Manchester, is the first phase in the Manchester Taskforce programme. Last month this government announced a further £72m infrastructure package around Manchester Victoria to make train journeys for passengers more reliable in Greater Manchester. In addition, Network Rail are also electrifying the route between Wigan North-Western station and Lostock Junction near Bolton in a £78 million upgrade. Electrifying the route will complement the electrified line between Preston, Bolton and Manchester which was completed in 2019, and the project provides train operators with more operational flexibility to deploy trains to the Wigan and Bolton areas.

With regard to local transport services, the Government has invested over £3.5 billion in buses and light rail since March 2020, including our recently announced package of up to £300 million to protect and improve bus services long-term. The Government believes that Local Transport Authorities, working closely with operators, are best placed to determine the shape and structure of their local transport network to deliver high quality services for passengers.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish a response to the consultation on Licensing of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

We are currently analysing the responses to our consultation and will publish our response in the new year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what digital health collaboration is in place between the UK and (a) India, (b) Japan and (c) Israel as of 13 October 2023.

The Department has been working with India during its G20 presidency this year, to achieve resilient, equitable and sustainable Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all through digital health, one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Department has also been working with Japan during its G7 presidency this year, to ensure United Kingdom digital health priorities are appropriately reflected within this year’s Health Track and to explore how innovation, including digital, can help overcome some of our most pressing health challenges such as ageing populations and rising comorbidities.

In November 2021, the UK and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to deepen and expand cooperation across mutual priorities, including Cyber, Health, Science and Technology. Israel and the UK committed to leveraging their combined research and innovation strengths to address mutual challenges, in areas such as, the COVID-19 pandemic, the future effectiveness and streamlining of health systems, and the life sciences.

19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle youth vaping.

We have regulations in place to discourage underage vaping. The law protects children through restricting sales of vapes to people aged 18 years old and over, limiting nicotine content, refill bottle and tank sizes, labelling requirements and through advertising restrictions.

In October 2022, we published new content on the potential risks of vaping for young people on the FRANK and Better Health websites and we have provided input to educational resources produced by partners including the PSHE Association. We have recently added new resources for schools on the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ (OHID) Schools Zone online platform to support schools in educating children about vapes.

Earlier this year, OHID launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products. The call for evidence has now closed and we will respond shortly.

18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to provide additional funding for Bolton Hospice; and what steps his Department is taking to support hospice services in (a) Bolton and (b) surrounding areas.

Integrated care boards are responsible for determining the level of National Health Service-funded palliative and end of life care, including hospice care, locally. They are responsible for ensuring that the services they commission meet the needs of their local population.

Currently, nine hospice facilities are supported by funding from NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board: Bury Hospice; Dr Kershaw's Hospice; Bolton Hospice; Springhill Hospice; St Ann's Hospice; Tameside and Glossop Hospice Limited (Willow Wood); Wigan and Leigh Hospice; Francis House Family Trust (Children’s); and Derian House (Children’s, located outside the Greater Manchester area).

Whilst all of these provide inpatient end of life care, several also offer Hospice at Home and other community palliative care services.

The commissioning and funding of these arrangements are a legacy from Clinical Commissioning Groups, however, NHS Greater Manchester, as a statutory organisation, now has the opportunity to review commissioning and funding arrangements to meet the needs of the population, working across our Integrated Care Partnership.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS; and if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of technology on secondary healthcare at Royal Bolton Hospital.

The Department marked the 75th Anniversary of the National Health Service over the course of June and July, working closely with NHS England. The Department and NHS England made a number of flagship announcements, including the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan; a new national targeted lung cancer screening programme; the Government’s Mandate to NHS England; an additional one million health checks to tackle cardiovascular disease through the new NHS Digital Health Checks; and a £21 million fund for NHS trusts to bid and procure artificial intelligence diagnostic imaging tools.

In December 2022, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust published their Digital Strategy for 2022-2025, which sets out their ambition to become a 'Digital Trust' via four objectives, digital integration, digital care, digital workforce and digital infrastructure. The Strategy sets out the proposed changes to the local health and social care system and benefits to patients, the workforce and system. In 2022/23, the Department provided Royal Bolton £1.29 million to “digitise the frontline” by improving access to electronic patient record data across the NHS. £18 million has also been provided for the development of a Community Diagnostic Centre to support the creation of a digitally enabled estate.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve early diagnoses of pulmonary fibrosis.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes ambitions to increase early and accurate diagnosis of respiratory conditions. To deliver this commitment, NHS England has established 13 respiratory clinical networks. The National Health Service has been asked to restore spirometry checks to pre-pandemic levels in 2022/23, supported by the ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to make nintendanib available on the NHS for patients suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.

Nintedanib is routinely available to eligible National Health Service patients according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidance, which recommends nintendanib for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for patients with a Forced Vital Capacity of between 50 to 80% predicted.

NICE is currently reviewing its recommendations on the use of nintedanib for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in those with a forced vital capacity above 80% predicted and currently expects to publish final guidance in March 2023.

5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the new licensing scheme for practitioners who operate in England for non-surgical cosmetic procedures will be announced.

Officials are currently exploring how a future licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England might be implemented, and a potential timetable for its introduction. The scope and details of any future licensing scheme would be set out in secondary legislation and subject to stakeholder engagement and public consultation.

18th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether the Government is taking steps to assess the level of compliance with international humanitarian law of Israel’s recent actions in Gaza.

Israel has endured the worst terrorist attack in its history at the hands of Hamas. We support Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas, but it must comply with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We keep under continuous review whether they are abiding by their obligations. We continue to call for IHL to be respected and civilians to be protected.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) raise awareness of and (b) commemorate the Holodomor in the UK, in the context of the war in Ukraine.

The Holodomor was a horrific, man-made disaster. The UK remembers this event annually, as the Prime Minister did by lighting a candle at the Holodomor memorial in Kyiv in November 2022. Our officials in Ukraine regularly attend similar commemoration events. The UK is committed to holding to account those responsible for committing atrocities in Ukraine, by supporting the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure allegations of war crimes are fully and fairly investigated by independent and robust legal mechanisms. Since the start of the invasion we have provided £2 million in additional contributions to the ICC.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to progress Israel-Saudi Arabia normalisation talks.

The UK continues to support diplomatic efforts to normalise relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The UK is a firm supporter of Israel's normalisation agreements, including the Abraham Accords. We continue to encourage close regional cooperation in order to tackle regional challenges and we encourage those countries with whom Israel does not yet have diplomatic relations to recognise the economic, cultural and security benefits of cooperation with Israel.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) establish and (b) help ensure the safety of UK nationals in Israel.

The safety of all British nationals continues to be our utmost priority and we urge everyone to continue to follow our travel advice which is kept under continual review. We are working around the clock to support British Nationals wishing to leave and remain committed to assisting their safe passage out of the country. The government has facilitated a number of commercial flights from Tel Aviv to the UK to help British nationals wanting to leave Israel. The Royal Air Force was also instrumental in evacuating British nationals from Israel. British nationals who want to leave Gaza and can do so safely are advised to check the status of the Rafah crossing into Egypt. We are advising all British nationals currently in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including Gaza, to register your presence with the FCDO.

https://www.register.service.csd.fcdo.gov.uk/israel-20231009/tell-the-uk-government-youre-in-israel-or-the-occupied-palestinian-territories

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support BBC World Service broadcasts into North Korea.

The FCDO strongly values the BBC World Service's role in bringing high-quality and impartial broadcasting to audiences in need, particularly where free speech is limited.

The BBC has provided assurance that it will continue to serve audiences in countries lacking media freedom and a free press, such as North Korea. Through the World2020 programme, the FCDO provides support to the BBC Korean service which is aimed at audiences across the Korean Peninsula, including inside North Korea where access to international media sources is extremely limited.

The UK is committed to media freedom, and to championing democracy and human rights around the world.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his (a) French and (b) German counterparts on Iran’s decision to withdraw the designation of several IAEA inspectors.

As stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General, Iran's decision to withdraw accreditation from several experienced IAEA inspectors, including experts with unique knowledge of uranium enrichment technology, affects in a direct and severe way the ability of the IAEA to effectively conduct its inspections in Iran. This action highlights Iran's increasing lack of cooperation with the IAEA - this cooperation is vital to provide assurances that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful. France, Germany and the United Kingdom continue to stand in strong support of the IAEA and the international safeguards verification regime. In a joint statement published on 18 September 2023 by the UK, France, Germany and the United States we set out that Iran must immediately reverse these inspector de-designations and fully cooperate with the IAEA to enable them to provide assurances that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has held recent discussions with his Japanese counterpart on the discharge of treated water from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear site.

On 18 September, the Foreign Secretary discussed the treated water discharge with Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Yoko Kamikawa, at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK's full support for Japan's actions, confirmed the UK's confidence in the science underpinning the treated water discharge and the UK's full satisfaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) judgements regarding monitoring and safety of the discharge.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he had with the Albanian Prime Minister on (a) Ukraine, (b) serious and organised crime and (c) illegal migration while attending the UN General Assembly.

The Foreign Secretary met Albanian Prime Minister Rama on 19 September in New York. They recognised the strength of the current UK-Albania partnership and the progress we have made on shared priorities. This includes migration, with over 3,500 immigration offenders having been returned to Albania since our Joint Communique was signed in December, and a 90 per cent reduction in the numbers of Albanians arriving illegally. The Foreign Secretary welcomed Albania's leadership on European and international security issues through NATO and the UN Security Council, including in support of Ukraine.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Japanese counterpart on reviving the Black Sea grain initiative.

We are committed to ensuring Ukraine is able to export its grain. At the G20 Summit on 8-9 September, the Prime Minister engaged partners, including Japan, to ensure a unified message condemning Russia's attacks on grain infrastructure. We are working with Japan as G7 President to shape the international response.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the free transit of ships carrying Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports.

We strongly condemn Russia's decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and call on Russia to re-join immediately. We also strongly condemn Russia's egregious attacks on Ukraine's ports. Ukraine has the right to export its goods through international waters. Russia's actions are clearly intended to prevent Ukraine doing so. The United Kingdom is working with Ukraine and other partners to enable Ukraine to continue exporting its grain via all routes, including overland through Europe.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has taken recent steps to strengthen (a) security, (b) cultural and (c) trade relations with South Korea through (i) the British Council LINK programme and (ii) other means.

The UK and the Republic of Korea are close friends. We are both free and open societies with vibrant democracies and a shared commitment to upholding global security, democratic principles and the rule of law. Our bilateral framework spans political, economic, military and scientific fields. We have strengthened international collaboration and knowledge sharing through the British Council LINK programme, connecting mid-career Korean civil servants to the UK public sector. I [Minister for the Indo-Pacific] visited South Korea in May to celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations and further our dialogue on development and economic security. The UK will continue building upon our close relationship with the Republic of Korea and deepen our cooperation on trade and security challenges.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Tigray; and what steps her Department is taking to assist the people of Tigray.

The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, from north to south, is grave and is worsening. More than 400,000 people are experiencing catastrophic famine-like conditions in Tigray and this year nearly 30 million people throughout the country will require life-saving aid. In northern regions conflict has affected more than 9 million people - including 5.2 million people in Tigray, where humanitarian access is negligible. As I [Minister Ford] expressed in my statement of 1 April, the arrival of a humanitarian convoy in Tigrayan-controlled areas on that day was a welcome development, but we now need to see sustained humanitarian access.

Since the start of the conflict in November 2020 the UK has allocated more than £75 million in humanitarian assistance for Northern Ethiopia. This includes £15.6 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its food and nutrition operations in northern Ethiopia. This helped WFP reach more than 885,000 people with food assistance and approximately 219,000 people with nutrition support. We welcome the cessation of hostilities announced by the Ethiopian Government and agreed by Tigrayan authorities on 25 March. All parties to the conflict must now facilitate urgent humanitarian relief, especially to communities in Tigray who have not had food aid for months.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will meet with the hon. Member for Bolton North East as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Afghanistan to discuss issues relating to that country and the Afghan diaspora in the UK.

The Minister of State for South Asia would be pleased to meet with the Hon. Member for Bolton North East as part of his ongoing engagement on matters relating to Afghanistan.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the diplomatic and security situation around the Siverskyi Donets River in the Luhansk region of Ukraine following allegations of repeated shelling attacks by Russian forces; and what steps his Department is taking to ease tensions in that region.

While the UK has received no specific reporting on this alleged incident, we remain very concerned by the overall upward trajectory in the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. We call on the sides to uphold the ceasefire.

The UK remains one of the largest contributors to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which monitors and reports on the security situation in Ukraine. We fully support the Minsk agreements to deliver a peaceful resolution to the conflict in full respect of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the work of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy Four in this regard. As outlined in the G7 Foreign Ministers' statement on 18 March, we call on Russia to play its part to end the conflict by immediately ceasing its support for the armed formations it backs and fulfilling its obligations under the Minsk agreements.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the diplomatic and security situation of (a) Ukraine and (b) Russia; and what steps his Department is taking to work with (i) NATO and (ii) western Governments to maintain oversight of the situation in those countries.

The UK is one of Ukraine's few international partners offering a full range of military, security, economic, political and governance support. We operate at the heart of the international community's engagement in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, which includes shaping international sanctions against Russia; deepening NATO's partnership with Ukraine; and leading efforts in the UN and OSCE to hold Russia to account for its destabilising behaviour.

The Integrated Review makes clear that Russia's actions pose an acute and direct threat to the national security of UK and its allies. The Russian State's record of unprovoked, reckless and destabilising activity is a stain on Russia's reputation, damages its international standing and undermines the Russian Government's claims to be a responsible global actor. The UK takes the threat from the Russian State extremely seriously and will respond and call out Russian aggression wherever it occurs.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have held recent discussions with their Ukrainian counterparts, on 14 June and 2 April respectively. We maintain functional channels of engagement with the Russian Government. The FS spoke with Russian FM Lavrov on 17 June. As fellow Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and other multilateral organisations, we will continue to engage with the Russian Government on matters of international peace, security and to address global challenges facing the world today, including climate change, biodiversity loss and the Coronavirus pandemic. The Prime Minister attended the NATO Summit on 14 June where NATO leaders discussed Russia and issued a communiqué, affirming NATO support for Ukraine and its commitment to continue to respond to the deteriorating security environment by enhancing NATO's deterrence and defence posture, including by a forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. The Prime Minister also hosted the G7 Leaders' Summit on 11-13 June, where leaders called on Russia to stop its destabilising behaviour and malign activities, which followed G7 Foreign Minister statements regarding Ukraine on 18 March and 12 April.

23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of barriers to opening bank accounts in the UK faced by Japanese companies on the ability of those companies to expand in the UK.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer I gave to PQ UIN 9958 given on 23 January.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department is taking steps to help support Japanese companies to open bank accounts in the UK.

The Department for Business and Trade has a global network, including a significant presence in Japan, to support investors around the world to establish their businesses in the UK. DBT uses its engagement with thousands of businesses and investors to build a well-rounded view of the top issues impacting business, and will continue to engage businesses on these commercial issues.

The Government knows that Japanese companies continue to take confidence in doing business with the UK. Japan is already the UK’s 5th largest investor and this past year alone during the Prime Minister’s visit, with Japanese businesses committed to invest almost £18 billion in businesses and projects across the UK.

More broadly, the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a variety of factors, including the local law, regulation of individual countries, an assessment of profitability, or other commercial drivers. Nevertheless, the Government takes the issue of access to bank accounts very seriously, and that is why last year the Chancellor asked the FCA to collect evidence to help us understand where account closures or refusals are happening and why.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to review the levels of (a) Marriage and (b) Married Couple's Allowance ahead of the Autumn Statement.

The Government introduced the Marriage Allowance (MA) in April 2015 to recognise marriage and civil partnerships in the tax system. It allows a spouse or civil partner to transfer 10 per cent of their Personal Allowance (PA) if their partner is a basic rate taxpayer.

At Autumn Statement 2022, the Chancellor announced that the PA would be maintained at 2021-22 levels up to and including 2027-28. The transferable tax allowance of £1,260 provided through the MA is therefore due to remain at its current level until 2027-28.

The Married Couple’s Allowance, which is available to those born before 6 April 1935, was uprated to be valued between £4,010 and £10,375 in 2023-24.

As with all elements of income tax, the Government keeps this under review.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will (a) lower fuel duty and (b) provide other additional support for motorists in the Autumn Statement 2023.

At Spring Budget 2023 the Government announced continued support for motorists by maintaining the rates of fuel duty at the levels set on 23 March 2022 for an additional 12 months, by extending the temporary 5p fuel duty cut and cancelling the planned inflation increase for 2023-24.

This support is already available for longer than in many countries and represents around £10 billion over 2 years and £200 for the average car driver. The Government will continue to keep fuel duty rates and other motoring taxes under review.

The Chancellor announces changes to taxes at fiscal events.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) banks and (b) other payment service providers do not terminate contracts on the grounds of clients having expressed a view that is within the scope of lawful free speech.

On 21 July, the Government confirmed that it would strengthen regulations overseeing banks and payment service providers to increase the minimum notice period in cases of provider-initiated contract terminations from 2 months to 90 days – giving customers more time to challenge a decision through the Financial Ombudsman Service, or find a replacement bank. Providers will also be required to spell out to the affected customer why they are terminating their contract – increasing transparency and aiding customers’ ability to appeal decisions. This requirement will be subject to limited exceptions where firms need to comply with existing legal obligations, for example, under financial crime law.

As set out in its follow-up statement on 2 October, the Government continues to work with the regulators, law enforcement and industry to support the implementation of these changes, and will publish draft secondary legislation to enact these changes to statute by the end of the year.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of reviewing the annual VAT registration threshold to help support small businesses.

Views on the VAT registration threshold are divided and the case for change has been regularly reviewed over the years. While some businesses have argued that a higher threshold would reduce administrative and financial burdens, others contend that a lower threshold would provide a fairer competitive environment.

In 2018, the Government consulted on how the design of the VAT registration threshold could better incentivise growth. However, there was no clear option for reform.

It was announced at Autumn Statement 2022 that the VAT threshold will be maintained at its current level of £85,000 until 31 March 2026.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he is taking steps to address the potential impact of a cashless society on financial inclusivity.

The government recognises that while the transition towards digital payments brings many opportunities, cash continues to be used by many people across the UK, including those who may be in vulnerable groups.

The government legislated through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 to establish a new legislative framework to protect access to cash. This establishes the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as the lead regulator for access to cash and provides it with responsibility and powers to seek to ensure reasonable provision of cash withdrawal and deposit facilities. The government considers that this legislation will also support organisations, including local businesses, to continue accepting cash by ensuring that they have reasonable access to cash deposit facilities.

Following this, the government recently published a Cash Access Policy Statement, which sets out the government’s policies on access to cash. The FCA is required by law to have regard to these policies when determining its regulatory approach. The FCA will publicly consult on its regulatory approach in due course. The government’s policy statement is available on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cash-access-policy-statement/cash-access-policy-statement

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the continued acceptance of cash as a payment option within the UK.

The government recognises that, to support people’s ability to continue to transact using cash, businesses need reasonable access to cash deposit facilities to support them to keep accepting cash.

The government legislated through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 to establish the Financial Conduct Authority as the lead regulator for access to cash and provide it with responsibility and powers to seek to ensure reasonable provision of cash withdrawal and deposit facilities. The government considers that this legislation will support organisations, including local businesses, to continue accepting cash by ensuring that they have reasonable access to cash deposit facilities.

Following this, the government recently published a Cash Access Policy Statement, which sets out the government’s policies on access to cash. The FCA is required by law to have regard to these policies when determining its regulatory approach. The FCA will publicly consult on its regulatory approach in due course. The government’s policy statement is available on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cash-access-policy-statement/cash-access-policy-statement

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will take steps to reduce the pay difference for experienced police community support officers transitioning to become police constables.

On 13 July 2023, the Government announced that it had accepted the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) to award a consolidated increase of 7% to all ranks up to and including assistant chief constable and commander with effect from 1 September 2023. The Government also awarded the same increase to chief constables, deputy chief constables and ranks above commander in the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police. The PRRB’s recommendation to remove the lowest pay point for constables was also accepted, bringing starting salaries up to £28,551.

The independent PRRB and Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) consider and make recommendations to the Government on the appropriate level of pay and allowances for police officers. The Review Bodies gather and invite parties to submit evidence to inform their decisions. This includes both written and oral evidence from the Government, police employers and police staff associations.

The Home Secretary’s remit letters to the PRRB and SSRB, published on 20 December 2023, ask for recommendations on how to apply the pay award for 2024/25. The Government will give very careful consideration to their recommendations when they submit their reports in May.

The Government has no statutory role in determining the pay and conditions for police staff, including police community support officers, which are agreed locally by Chief Constables in consultation with trade unions.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has made a recent assessment of the adequacy of police pay.

On 13 July 2023, the Government announced that it had accepted the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) to award a consolidated increase of 7% to all ranks up to and including assistant chief constable and commander with effect from 1 September 2023. The Government also awarded the same increase to chief constables, deputy chief constables and ranks above commander in the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police. The PRRB’s recommendation to remove the lowest pay point for constables was also accepted, bringing starting salaries up to £28,551.

The independent PRRB and Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) consider and make recommendations to the Government on the appropriate level of pay and allowances for police officers. The Review Bodies gather and invite parties to submit evidence to inform their decisions. This includes both written and oral evidence from the Government, police employers and police staff associations.

The Home Secretary’s remit letters to the PRRB and SSRB, published on 20 December 2023, ask for recommendations on how to apply the pay award for 2024/25. The Government will give very careful consideration to their recommendations when they submit their reports in May.

The Government has no statutory role in determining the pay and conditions for police staff, including police community support officers, which are agreed locally by Chief Constables in consultation with trade unions.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to his oral statement of 4 December 2023 on Legal Migration, Official Report, columns 41-43, whether his Department considered regional differences in per capita income when setting the new income requirements for spousal visas.

Permission under the family route is not tied to a specific geographic area.

A requirement which varies by region could lead to inequalities within regions and make applications more complicated as people would be required to provide more evidence about their location.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
8th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his Department has made a recent comparative assessment of the income requirements for spousal visas in (a) other countries and (b) the UK.

We keep the family Immigration Rules under regular review and part of that includes considering international comparisons.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
8th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will take steps to publish a consultation on his proposed increase to the income requirement for spousal visas for (a) people earning the National Living Wage and (b) other people.

There are no plans to consult on the Government’s plans to increase the Minimum Income Requirement for those sponsoring family members on the partner or child family immigration routes.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has taken recent steps with charities and voluntary organisations to promote (a) social cohesion and (b) community safety.

The Government meets regularly with charities and voluntary groups for the purposes of enhancing community safety and promoting social cohesion.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been prosecuted for belonging and professing to belong to Hamas since that group was proscribed.

The Government takes proscription offences seriously. Investigations into the activities of proscribed organisations or individuals who may be members of proscribed organisations are an operational matter for the police and intelligence agencies.

The Government publishes quarterly national statistics on the use of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent relevant legislation in Great Britain. This includes information on arrests, charges and convictions for proscription offences. The most recent publication up to year ending March 2023, was published on 08 June on GOV.UK: Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes, and stop and search, Great Britain, quarterly update to March 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that female asylum seekers do not fall victim to modern slavery.

All asylum seekers have an interview on arrival in the UK which includes a series of questions designed to understand whether there are any potential indicators of trafficking and to identify any vulnerabilities.

If there are any indicators present that a person is at potential risk of modern slavery a referral is made to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Single Competent Authority (SCA) will make a decision on this referral.

We take the wellbeing of asylum seekers seriously. Robust safeguarding procedures are in place to ensure all asylum seekers are safe and supported.

13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to deport foreign nationals engaged in terrorist-related activity.

The safety and security of the UK is the Government’s highest priority. We take robust action to remove foreign nationals engaged in terrorist-related activity from the UK wherever possible. This requires careful consideration on the specific circumstances of each case, and complex and often sensitive engagement with our international partners. We are also frequently required to vigorously defend our immigration decision-making through the Courts process.

Where we cannot remove such individuals, the Government and operational partners have a range of powers at their disposal, amongst them criminal prosecution and where criminal prosecution is not possible Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs), to manage the terrorist threat and protect our national security.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will hold discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service on increasing prosecutions for assault of emergency workers in Bolton.

Any assault on an emergency worker is unacceptable and I am determined to do everything I can to ensure they are prevented.

As part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, we have brought forward legislation to double the maximum sentence for assaults on emergency workers.

The Office for National Statistics’ Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and its latest estimates shows that the number of incidences of violence has fallen by 41% since the year ending March 2010, to 1.1 million incidences.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of asylum seekers who have crossed the Channel in 2022 to date.

The Home Office publishes statistics on small boat arrivals to the UK in the ‘Irregular Migration to the UK statistics’ report. Data on asylum claims from small boat arrivals are published in the ‘asylum claims from arrivals’ section of the ‘Irregular migration to the UK’ publication. The latest data relates to the end of June 2022. Future irregular migration publication release dates can be found on the research and statistics calendar.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to help ensure that asylum seekers settling in England are shared evenly between parliamentary constituencies.

On 13th April this year, it was announced that with immediate effect we would move to a model of full dispersal for asylum seekers to ensure a fairer distribution of asylum seekers across the UK. Full dispersal means that all local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales can be expected to participate in the new model. This approach will reduce relative pressures on those local authorities who accommodated asylum seekers prior to April 2022. We have been working collaboratively with LAs through our Strategic Migration Partnerships to generate regional plans that will support the implementation of full dispersal.

11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken with international partners to help reduce the number of migrant crossings across the English Channel.

Migrant crossings across the Channel are dangerous and unnecessary. This Government is determined to put the people smugglers out of business and make this route unviable.

We have agreed to a new joint strategy and operational plan with our French counterparts, for which the UK will provide up to €72.2 million this year, to drive forward our next phase of cooperation to tackle this issue. This will increase the number of French Officers with UK Officers being embedded

[Whitespace] with French counterparts. Our partnership with the French saw more than 23,000 crossings stopped in 2021 and has seen over 30,000 illegal crossings stopped so far this year.

As a Government, we have also introduced tough new penalties through the Nationality and Borders Act which introduces life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry. Additionally, we have agreed a ground-breaking partnership with Rwanda, and we remain committed to operationalising the scheme as soon as possible.

We are committed to engaging with international partners, in particular Member States and the EU, on a ‘whole of route’ approach to addressing the challenges of, and risks posed by, irregular migration, including through an early meeting convening our near neighbours.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that cases of emotional abuse are afforded the same priority as physical abuse cases.

Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for this Government. The landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced for the first time a legal definition of domestic abuse that is wide-ranging, recognising a range of abuses beyond physical violence; including sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, economic abuse, and controlling or coercive behaviour. Putting the definition on a statutory footing aims to ensure that domestic abuse is properly understood and that all public agencies and relevant parties are applying a common definition in seeking to tackle this abhorrent crime.

Building on this, the Government went further and on 30 March, published the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan which will seek to transform the whole of society’s response to domestic abuse in all its forms.

Emotional abuse can form part of a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour. The Domestic Abuse Act extended the coercive and controlling behaviour offence removing the ‘living together’ requirement to ensure that the offence applies to partners, ex-partners or family members, regardless of whether the victim and perpetrator live together. We are also in the process of updating the Controlling or Coercive Behaviour Statutory Guidance to further support frontline agencies in identifying, investigating and evidencing domestic abuse offences. We launched a public consultation on the draft guidance on 30 April.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that cases of emotional abuse are afforded the same priority as physical abuse cases.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle domestic abuse.

Tackling violence against woman and girls, including domestic abuse, is a Government priority. That is why we introduced our landmark Domestic Abuse Act in 2021.

In March 2022, we went even further and published our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan, backed by over £230 million and commits to exploring options for a register to manage the most harmful domestic abusers more robustly. This includes funding for children. In 2021-22, we provided over £3 million, through the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse (CADA) Fund to organisations providing specialist support within the community to children. This funding will be increased to £4.1 million in 2022-23 as set out in the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan.

This will provide further protections to victims, strengthen measures to bring perpetrators to justice and improve the response from agencies.

8th Jun 2020
What progress her Department has made on introducing a points-based immigration system.

The Government has set out our plans for a new points-based system to control immigration, that will deliver for the UK for years to come.

We have been clear that there will be no extension to the Transition period with the EU, and the introduction of the Immigration (and Social Security Co-ordination) Bill was a key part of delivering on that commitment.

From 1 January, our new system will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements and lay the foundations for a firmer, fairer, skills-led immigration system

It will support our economic recovery by prioritising and investing in people in the UK while continuing to attract the talent and expertise we need from abroad.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to progress commitments made under The Tallinn Pledge.

Following the announcement of The Tallin Pledge, the UK delivered a major package of equipment to Ukraine which met our donations commitment in full. The training commitment will be met by the end of 2023. Along with allies and partners, we continue to provide Ukraine with equipment needed to protect critical national infrastructure and expel Russian forces from Ukraine's sovereign territory.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government plans to increase its provision of long-range precision strike weapons, (b) artillery, (c) air defence equipment, (d) armoured vehicles and (e) other forms of military support to Ukraine.

The UK is committed to working with our allies and partners to meet Ukraine's defensive requirements, now and in the future. Priority areas for support in the coming months include air defence to protect Ukraine's critical national infrastructure during the winter, further artillery ammunition, and support to help Ukraine sustain the capabilities already provided, including to recover and repair equipment used in its counter-offensive. Since 2015, over 50,000 Ukrainian personnel have been trained by the UK.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help increase transatlantic quantum technology cooperation.

The Ministry of Defence has a range of specific bilateral and multilateral collaborations ongoing that cover quantum technologies, including through NATO (both the US and Canada) and AUKUS Pillar Two (advanced capabilities) with the US. We also support the development of HMG wide international cooperation on quantum technologies, such as the National Quantum Strategy led by the Secretary of State for DSIT, which has included supporting the signature of a UK/US letter of intent on quantum cooperation.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps is Department is taking to support (a) industry and (b) academia to engage in the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is a strong supporter of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). The European Regional Office is hosted at the Imperial College Innovation Hub at White City (twinned with a hub in Tallinn, Estonia). The pilot DIANA ‘Challenge Programmes’ were actively promoted to the UK industry and academic communities via UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) networks, and over 200 UK-based entities applied. The successful participants are expected to be announced later in October, and the Department will continue to support UK industry and academia to engage with the DIANA pilot programmes, when they begin in early 2024.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the security situation in northern Kosovo in the context of the recent violence near the village of Banjska.

The UK strongly condemns the violent attack on Kosovo Police in northern Kosovo on 24 September. The attack involved a large group of organised and well-resourced gunmen. The situation is calm but fragile. The facts of the incident are being established by the Kosovan authorities. At NATO’s request the UK deployed our Strategic Reserve Force to increase KFOR’s ability to support a safe and secure environment. Our forces in country continue to monitor the situation carefully. Both Serbia and Kosovo must refrain from actions that add to current tensions. Dialogue is key for finding long term mutually acceptable solutions and protecting the gains of the last decade.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has had discussions with his (a) Lithuanian and (b) Polish counterparts on the potential merits of increasing the number of UK troops on rotational deployment to the Suwalki gap.

The Defence Secretary has not had any discussion with his Lithuanian or Polish counterparts as there are no UK troops on rotational deployment to the Suwalki gap.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his Estonian counterpart on increasing the number of British troops in that country as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence.

The Secretary of State for Defence held a bilateral meeting with the Estonian Defence Minister during NATO Defence Ministers in October, during which they discussed and agreed the UK's enduring commitment to the eFP. During this meeting the ministers also signed a Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which reaffirms the UK's previous commitments to Estonia and outlines future defence cooperation opportunities that the UK and Estonia will explore. Estonia continues to support the UK's approach to the eFP and the current Defence footprint in country.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many British armed forces personnel are currently located in Estonia; and how many will be based in that country in (a) 2024 and (b) 2025 and (c) 2026.

There are currently 982 UK Service personnel deployed to Estonia as part of the UK's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). A baseline deployment of around 1,000 troops is planned to be deployed in 2024, 2025 and 2026. The eFP is a rotational deployment, the precise number of personnel deployed will vary at any one time and will rise substantially during peak training periods.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times his Department has recorded the incursion of (a) Spanish and (b) civilian and other vessels in Gibraltarian waters in 2023 to date.

Between 1 January and 16 October 2023, there were 382 incursions by Spanish Government Agency vessels into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW), breaching the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 19. There were no incursions into BGTW by non-Spanish Government Agency vessels in this period. Entries into BGTW by civilian or commercial vessels are not subject to UNCLOS within BGTW, and are therefore not defined as incursions.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Italian and (b) Japanese counterparts on the potential entry of Saudi Arabia into the Global Combat Air Programme.

The UK has regular conversation with our trilateral Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) partners on a range of issues. All three GCAP nations have highlighted our openness to working with other nations through this programme, while keeping us on course for 2035 In Service Delivery. With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we signed a Statement of Intent on the 1 March 2023, launching a Partnering Feasibility Study to define the future of our historic Combat Air partnership.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made on the use of artificial intelligence for the Armed Forces in AUKUS Pillar Two.

AUKUS Pillar Two, continues to accelerate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomy to provide the technological edge in our warfighting capability through prototyping, experimentation, and acquisition.

In April 2023, the first AUKUS AI and Autonomy trial was held at Upavon in Wiltshire. The trial achieved several world firsts, including the live retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations. Trilateral partners will look to rapidly drive these technologies into responsible military use.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his Japanese counterpart on the UK-Japan defence agreement agreed in January 2023.

Since the UK and Japanese Prime Ministers signed the Reciprocal Access Agreement in January 2023, we have discussed progress frequently with Japan, including at Ministerial level. The Defence Secretary looks forward to speaking with his new Japanese counterpart and discussing how to take forward engagement under the treaty.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made with NATO allies on assessing security risks emanating from the High North.

The High North is changing rapidly. This poses both opportunities and challenges for the UK. His Majesty's Government is committed to working with regional Allies and partners, including NATO, the Joint Expeditionary Force and the Northern Group to align policy, activity, and capability where possible and across all domains, including sharing assessments of the risks emanating from the High North. We have also actively forged Arctic-specific partnerships where we discuss regional risks, and remain a proactive member of the Arctic Security Forces Roundtable, a forum in which Allies share information on the changing environment, improve collective awareness of and de-conflict activity in the Arctic, and identify opportunities for further co-operation.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support the Global Combat Air Programme between the UK, Japan and Italy.

The UK has a £10 billion budget to support the programme over the next ten years. We have invested £1 billion in R&D to develop the skills and technologies required, with a further £1 billion planned. This has been supported by an further significant investment from our core UK industry partners (BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK). Together, we are delivering advanced industrial technologies including digital design and additive manufacturing facilities, as at BAE Systems' Factory of the Future in Lancashire, and recruiting people from across the country with specialist skills in areas such as software engineering.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to deter Russian aggression towards Ukraine; and what steps he plans to take in the event of an escalation of that situation.

Defence has a longstanding relationship with Ukraine and continues to provide support in many areas including security assistance and defence reform. Since 2015, the UK has helped build the resilience and capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through Operation ORBITAL which has trained around 22,000 Ukrainian troops. The UK is committed to the stability, prosperity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

We have significant concerns about Russia's aggressive pattern of military build-ups on Ukraine's border and in illegally-annexed Crimea. We remain clear that Russia's threatening and destabilising behaviour is unacceptable. We will continue to monitor events on the ground closely and call on Russia, alongside our Allies and Partners, to adhere to its international obligations and commitments.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the planning system on onshore renewable energy projects.

The Government recognises the importance of onshore wind in meeting our net zero and carbon budget ambitions. In recognition of this, last month he National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was updated to help make it easier and quicker for local planning authorities to consider and, where appropriate, approve onshore wind projects where there is local support.  We will keep the impact of this change under review.

19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has held recent discussions with the Association for British Insurers on the provision of insurance for buildings deemed at risk of fire.

I have met both the British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Association of British Insurers, along with companies providing services in these sectors, on multiple occasions during 2023 to highlight the concerns of leaseholders regarding excess insurance costs and the need to make progress in this important area.

The Government is committed to making sure that buildings insurance costs are fair and transparent, and that leaseholders have confidence in challenging costs where necessary. Insurers must price risk in a responsible manner. It is clear from the Financial Conduct Authority reports into this market that leaseholders have not always been getting the service that they should, and this must change.

Regarding broking fees, in April 2023 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) consulted on giving leaseholders rights under their fair value rules and increasing requirements on the disclosure of information to leaseholders by brokers, and I strongly welcome its initiatives in this direction. The British Insurance Brokers' Association have already confirmed that they are in the process of testing new guidance for their members on how to comply with FCA fair value rules.

The Association of British Insurers has been developing a scheme for buildings with fire safety risks experiencing particularly high premiums for a significant period of time. I continue to highlight the Government’s clear expectation that this be delivered as soon as possible.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if she will hold discussions with the British Insurance Brokers' Association on the potential merits of producing industry guidance for meeting fair value rules to ensure that leaseholders benefit from such rules.

I have met both the British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Association of British Insurers, along with companies providing services in these sectors, on multiple occasions during 2023 to highlight the concerns of leaseholders regarding excess insurance costs and the need to make progress in this important area.

The Government is committed to making sure that buildings insurance costs are fair and transparent, and that leaseholders have confidence in challenging costs where necessary. Insurers must price risk in a responsible manner. It is clear from the Financial Conduct Authority reports into this market that leaseholders have not always been getting the service that they should, and this must change.

Regarding broking fees, in April 2023 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) consulted on giving leaseholders rights under their fair value rules and increasing requirements on the disclosure of information to leaseholders by brokers, and I strongly welcome its initiatives in this direction. The British Insurance Brokers' Association have already confirmed that they are in the process of testing new guidance for their members on how to comply with FCA fair value rules.

The Association of British Insurers has been developing a scheme for buildings with fire safety risks experiencing particularly high premiums for a significant period of time. I continue to highlight the Government’s clear expectation that this be delivered as soon as possible.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure that all public parks are made accessible to emergency vehicles.

Local authorities are responsible for public parks and spaces under their ownership. I would encourage local authorities to work with the emergency services to ensure access to emergency vehicles.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will take steps to begin an investigation into the statutory oversight by National House Building Council in respect of managing building defects in the Cotton Works conversion in Bolton North East constituency.

It is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate new build warranties and protect consumers. If a consumer is unhappy with the warranty provider's action, they can contact the Financial Ombudsman Services and raise a complaint for free.

The Government is committed to improving redress for new build homebuyers when things go wrong. The Building Safety Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech, includes provision for the New Homes Ombudsman, which will improve redress for new build homebuyers.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has had recent discussions with his Japanese counterpart on increasing cooperation between the Japanese and UK legal service sectors.

The UK and Japan have a strong legal services trading relationship, with bilateral legal services trade valued at approximately £147m in 2021 (ONS data) and multiple UK law firms maintaining a presence in Japan. The UK and Japan regularly engage to discuss legal services. This includes as part of ongoing cooperation under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which was reaffirmed by the signing of the Hiroshima Accord by PM Sunak and PM Kishida in May 2023.

In July 2023, the Secretary of State for Justice undertook a visit to Japan to attend the G7 Justice Ministerial Forum. As part of the visit, the Secretary of State for Justice discussed legal services with his counterpart, the Japanese Justice Minister, and with representatives from the UK and Japanese legal sectors. The Secretary of State for Justice and Japanese Justice Minister signed a UK-Japan Memorandum of Cooperation on legal and justice affairs. The Memorandum of Cooperation will increase collaboration between Justice Ministries by establishing a regular dialogue on legal and justice matters. The agreement signals a mutual desire to strengthen cooperation between the Japanese and UK legal services sectors, and commits to cooperation on international legal services and dispute resolution.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of bringing forward proposals to ensure that parents are held accountable in the event that their child is convicted of a serious offence where it is deemed that the parent’s action or inaction contributed to that offence.

We believe it is important for those who are responsible for a child’s care and well-being to be involved in their rehabilitation where appropriate.

Youth offending teams (YOTs) assess children engaging in, or at risk of, offending and determine whether parenting programmes or parenting contracts are needed to improve the guidance provided by parents and guardians to their children.

Courts can issue a parenting order where a child has been convicted of an offence and can include failure by the parent and guardian to comply with the requirements of a parenting contract. Parenting orders require the parent to comply for up to 12 months with certain requirements and, where appropriate, attend counselling or guidance programmes designed to improve parenting skills, manage difficult adolescent behaviour or ensure school attendance, for up to three months. Consistent non-compliance without good reason can lead to a police investigation and breach proceedings in court. Where the child is under 16, and has been convicted of an offence, the courts also have the power to order the parent or guardian to pay the fine.

As an alternative to parenting orders, YOTs often prefer where possible to engage and build strong relationships with parents on a voluntary basis. Parents often engage readily and take part in specific parenting support activities.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)